"If it's members of my staff, or they didn't do the job, we will act appropriately. If it's somebody else's staff, they ought to act appropriately as well." - Denny Hastert, 10/5/06Yes, Republican Speaker Denny Hastert will leave no stone unturned in his effort to blame the staff of his office, or anybody else's, for his utter failure to address a child sex predator he knew about five years ago.
Let's review the facts:
FACT: GOP staff, working for Republican Speaker Denny Hastert, warned the page class of 2001-2002 to stay away from Foley - five years ago.
FACT: Former chief of staff to GOP Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY), Kirk Fordham, says he warned Hastert's chief of staff of Foley's behavior three years ago. Whether or not you believe Fordham, his testimony is consistent with the other facts showing that the Republicans knew about Foley's behavior long before last week.
FACT: Both Reps. John Boehner, the Republican House Majority Leader, and Tom Reynolds both say they told Dennis Hastert personally about the Foley issue months ago. Hastert says Boehner is lying. So one of the two most powerful Republicans in the House is lying about an investigation into a child sex predator. That deserves a separate investigation right there.
FACT: Hastert's staff was informed of the Foley emails a year ago, but Hastert would like us to believe his staff simply never told him that a member of Congress, a member of his leadership team, was under investigation for preying sexually on young children - children who Hastert was responsible for.
And finally, the Republicans would have us believe, yet again, that a 52 year old man sending emails to a 16 year old boy he doesn't even know, and talking to that boy about how his 16 year old friend has a great body, is somehow simply "overly friendly." That is absurd on its face.